Nurses Who Are Drug Addicts - page 15

I work with a nurse who I suspect is using drugs, and I think she is stealing them from the facility. Of those of you that have encountered this problem, what were the signs and symptoms? Thanks.... Read More

  1. Visit  sissiesmama profile page
    1
    Hey easttexasnurse31!! I hope I have your name right, please forgive me. My name is Anne and I am an addict. I am also an RNC with 16 years experience, and a mother of two boys. First, congrats on youir recovery, and I am impressed that you are in the Texas program, TPAPAN??? I have heard a lot about it and it seems tough! Hang in there!!! Your suspicions are probably right, it sounds nlike the nurse is using, and in my opinion, you need to, as my hubbie says, who is also an RNC and in recovery, go up the food chain. If I talked to the DON since the charge nurse hasn't helped much, I might mention the fact that it would be nice if it could remain anon. because all they have to do it call her for a drug screen to get the ball rolling. It shouldn't come back on you because even though you may piss her off, you may save her life. Also, those patients need their pain meds. Please just take this with a grain of salt, I am no expert!!!!! Just an addict! Please pm me or email if you would like!!!

    GOOD LUCK!!!!! Anne, RNC
    Magsulfate likes this.
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  3. Visit  burn out profile page
    1
    Hey Easttexasnurse I am very proud that you are so honest especially with yourself. It is not everyone that can admit their weakness to be around narcotics..when you can trust yourself around them then others can trust you too..I think you are on your way to recovery. As for trying to help the other nurse you will need to document her every move..what time she gets a med out and where she goes with the med..who the med was for, then follow up with the patient to see if the pain is relieved or if they in deed got the medication then turn it into your manger or DON.
    Magsulfate likes this.
  4. Visit  Magsulfate profile page
    0
    Quote from burn out
    Hey Easttexasnurse I am very proud that you are so honest especially with yourself. It is not everyone that can admit their weakness to be around narcotics..when you can trust yourself around them then others can trust you too..I think you are on your way to recovery. As for trying to help the other nurse you will need to document her every move..what time she gets a med out and where she goes with the med..who the med was for, then follow up with the patient to see if the pain is relieved or if they in deed got the medication then turn it into your manger or DON.

    Thanks, I have started jotting things down, but I should write down more specifics like you say. My only worry is... if they do call her in for a UA, then she tests negative, I feel like I would look like a tattle tale and they won't believe me anymore. I also feel like I can see it because I've been there... whereas the other nurses don't really have a clue as to what's going on.
  5. Visit  burn out profile page
    0
    You may or may not even be mentioned. Once you give them something to go on to start an investigation they will be very thorough in going back and pulling all her charts and medication records from the narcotics list etc. They will be quit certain of what they are doing when they make the charge and you do not even need to be brought into it. Good luck. But the simple fact that you saved yourself does not mean you have to save the world ..You have made tremendous progress, if you simply want to notify your supervisor of your suspicons
    then you have met your obligations and can go to bed knowing you did what was expected. If nothing comes of it you know you did the right thing. You have integrity..be proud.
  6. Visit  Cattitude profile page
    0
    Quote from easttexasnurse31
    Thanks, I have started jotting things down, but I should write down more specifics like you say. My only worry is... if they do call her in for a UA, then she tests negative, I feel like I would look like a tattle tale and they won't believe me anymore. I also feel like I can see it because I've been there... whereas the other nurses don't really have a clue as to what's going on.
    First of all congrats om your recovery, one day at a time!

    Next, you'll be doing the right thing by reporting your suspicions but dn't jump into it further by being the detective and "documenting", that is the hospitals job. AND you don't need to be called in to testify either. Just let them do their job. I am quite sure that you're suspicions ARE correct, we don't get that feeling for no reason. Even if by some small chance she tests negative, sooner or later she'll out herself.

    Good luck and rest assured that you are doing what is best for everyone, even the nurse...
  7. Visit  lpnhusband profile page
    1
    I also agree regarding false accusations, you have to be careful. I worked on a floor where a nurse was accused of taking medications from the pixis and not being able to account for them. She was terminated without any warnings or notice. The administration claimed that the pixis can never be wrong. Does anyone have any instances where the pixis was in error or someone used another nurse's password to get into the pixis (is that possible?) Can you lose your license just based on records from the pixis showing discrepancies or unaccounted medication? This nurse even offered to undergo a drug screen and body search (for track marks) but the administration refused. She is a friend of mine and might lose her license and I really think it is unfair. her patients never complained of not getting their medication or that they were ever in pain.
    reallyoldnurse likes this.
  8. Visit  sara62 profile page
    0
    I have one question. What is a nurse. I was under the impression that we are true caregivers. I can't believe how judgemental,mean and condescending nurse's behave to nurses with drug problems. I was stupid enough to believe that I would receive compassion,respect,kindness and my coworkers extend themselves by offering a sympathetic ear.possibly offer a lending ear if a colleague in that situation needs to talk. "NOT" No one cares,in their eyes we are scums, period. I don't know why. I'm a great nurse!! Believe me,don't believe me but i'll tell you..Some of the nurses I have worked with I wouldn't let take care of my dog. If it was a loved one of yours, you would want me as their nurse. I've never harmed a patient or let them remain in pain so I could take their drugs(NEVER) Why can't our fellow colleagues offer support and encouragement and show respect for the nurse who is working their butt off to rebuild their life? I can say with certainty that if the tables were turned the person who wants to spit on a nurse with a drug problem actually had A drug problem would feel the same way. Some of the nurse's I have come in contact with were viscious. It makes me cry,as a matter of fact I am crying right now. It's so not fair and it makes me sad. It's hard enough to look in the mirror and push the shame away. I don't understand it. I wish it will stop,it will never be more than A wish because people only care about themselves and will remain judgemental forever. We are caregivers,aren't we? Nurse's aren't supposed to be that way. It's like a person who takes a job as a recepcionist bet hates dealing with people.
  9. Visit  teeituptom profile page
    1
    Quote from sara62
    I have one question. What is a nurse. I was under the impression that we are true caregivers. I can't believe how judgemental,mean and condescending nurse's behave to nurses with drug problems. I was stupid enough to believe that I would receive compassion,respect,kindness and my coworkers extend themselves by offering a sympathetic ear.possibly offer a lending ear if a colleague in that situation needs to talk. "NOT" No one cares,in their eyes we are scums, period. I don't know why. I'm a great nurse!! Believe me,don't believe me but i'll tell you..Some of the nurses I have worked with I wouldn't let take care of my dog. If it was a loved one of yours, you would want me as their nurse. I've never harmed a patient or let them remain in pain so I could take their drugs(NEVER) Why can't our fellow colleagues offer support and encouragement and show respect for the nurse who is working their butt off to rebuild their life? I can say with certainty that if the tables were turned the person who wants to spit on a nurse with a drug problem actually had A drug problem would feel the same way. Some of the nurse's I have come in contact with were viscious. It makes me cry,as a matter of fact I am crying right now. It's so not fair and it makes me sad. It's hard enough to look in the mirror and push the shame away. I don't understand it. I wish it will stop,it will never be more than A wish because people only care about themselves and will remain judgemental forever. We are caregivers,aren't we? Nurse's aren't supposed to be that way. It's like a person who takes a job as a recepcionist bet hates dealing with people.
    I like the way you try to turn the your problems onto the nurses who worked with you and trusted you. Yes they are judgemental. You violated a trust. Trust that has to be earned, not given to you just because you cry and feel like we are not offering you support. They trusted you while you made a concious decision to abuse drugs. You are right it isn't fair. It isn't fair to your coworkers who trusted you and relied on you to begin with. You can cry all you want, but do not try to blame your problems on your coworkers.
    vivacious1healer likes this.
  10. Visit  zoo4uRN profile page
    0
    Hi Sara -

    Congratulations on your recovery! There are quite a few of us, with various lengths of sobriety, on this forum............and each one is passionate about being a nurse in recovery. Kudos and hugs to you for having the courage to do the right thing, even when the going gets tough.

    I didn't see anything in your post about blaming your problems on your co-workers. What I got from your post, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that you're experiencing abusive behavior from your co-workers r/t the fact that you are a nurse in recovery. They may justifiably have trust issues, but that doesn't give any of them the right to behave in a manner that is anything less than professional towards you. That being said, a bit of that behavior is to be expected and the reasons for it are as numerous as there are personal experiences. Some folks just want to be the perpetual martyr, others like to play the victim, etc......even tho they were never personally involved in a situation with your drug addiction. Some folks like making others feel less than.......makes them feel better about themselves if they are "one up". Truth is..... you can't change them, you can only change yourself. However, you did not get sober to be the target of someone's misguided, maladaptive, misplaced anger. Some of this may blow over in time (it often does), and sometimes we need to find another area to work in. Talking it over with your nurse manager may help to open up some other options.

    Hopefully, some of the others will be along to share their experience with you soon. In the meantime, hang in there! It DOES get better.
    You're welcome to PM me anytime.

    Debbie
  11. Visit  momthenRN profile page
    0
    I worked with several nurses that had addiction problems and the unfortunate thing is that the facility gave them an out to let them go and guess what?,,,,they showed up at another facility to another job and repeated the behaviors. I am not against trying to get the nurses help but how can you hold them accountable if they do not do that?? One eventually almost KILLED a patient and lost her license and another showed up at my hospital working for an agency wanting to work in the unit I was charge at. He ended up floating to another area but I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive since I was the one who reported him (along with others) for literally have the meds in his pockets. He glared at me that day as he gathered his stuff to head home. I don't know if he ever got treatment or not....That is what scares me....
  12. Visit  Cattitude profile page
    3
    Quote from sara62
    Why can't our fellow colleagues offer support and encouragement and show respect for the nurse who is working their butt off to rebuild their life?
    Hi Sara,
    I too am a nurse in recovery. It's been a long road and I've had to go through a lot of emotions and learning to get to where I am today. Sometimes, other nurses can't offer support because they are human. Not everyone believes that 1. addiction is a disease,
    2. addicts want to get well.

    Sometimes they also have personal issues which affect their feelings about those in recovery. I used to get upset when people wouldn't give me support. Now I don't, I will not give anyone one bit of my energy. I respect other people's opinion even if I don't agree with them. No one is perfect and everybody has done wrong in their life. Our wrongs are plainly out in the open and up for all to judge.

    I think, if you follow your heart and a great recovery plan, then everything you need will follow. You don't need ALL their support. But there will be one or two that will give it and that is enough. And we are always here too.

    Quote from zoo4uRN
    Some folks just want to be the perpetual martyr, others like to play the victim, etc......even tho they were never personally involved in a situation with your drug addiction. Some folks like making others feel less than.......makes them feel better about themselves if they are "one up".

    Oh you said it! I am so tired of people like the above, the whiners/victims. The high and mighty. To heck with all of them!
    I live my life the way I feel is good and healthy. I don't live for everybody else the way I used to, the way that got me into trouble with my sanity! I think that most of us are good people, only a few spoil the bunch. Too bad that some are too blind to see or accept it. Their loss.
    sissiesmama, margom, and Magsulfate like this.
  13. Visit  margom profile page
    1
    I too am in recovery and the last year of my using, I wasn't a good anything. I would have never stopped if my DON hadn't intervened and although I was fired from my position, they did not call the police and file a report, but instead gave me the option of self reporting to the BON. I never realized that being impaired, my patients were not safe in my care. It took me 5 years in recovery and alot of work on myself to realize that. I am really grateful that my DON stepped in, and forced the hand. Like I said, I would have never quit on my own. I couldn't . My addiction would have only progressed to complete loss. Thanks to you all for listening. Peace
    Margo
    sissiesmama likes this.
  14. Visit  blueheaven profile page
    0
    Quote from margom
    I too am in recovery and the last year of my using, I wasn't a good anything. I would have never stopped if my DON hadn't intervened and although I was fired from my position, they did not call the police and file a report, but instead gave me the option of self reporting to the BON. I never realized that being impaired, my patients were not safe in my care. It took me 5 years in recovery and alot of work on myself to realize that. I am really grateful that my DON stepped in, and forced the hand. Like I said, I would have never quit on my own. I couldn't . My addiction would have only progressed to complete loss. Thanks to you all for listening. Peace
    Margo
    I have never understood some institutions policy that they will fire a nurse instead of helping them get into a recovery program (if the addict chooses to).
    I come from a long family history of addiction and I can see the tendancy in myself. Money, food etc.
    I was married to a non recovering addict for 10 years thinking I could love him into changing.....NOT. My dad (rest his recovered alcoholic soul) finally got me to go to a Al-anon meeting and I learned about me, and I learned about the disease.
    13 years later, met a wonderful man who is now 8 years clean and we go 12 stepping together...LOL. Sometimes I go to NA with him, sometimes he goes to Nar-Anon with me. We make recovery a family thing and it has helped us both to grow as a couple. God bless all of you who are recovering and prayers to all who are still out there hurting. Cazbeez...I really enjoy (?? can't think of another word) your messages of hope.


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